BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Only 18, Jake Bugg sounds like he’s been around longer on his debut – not in the clichéd sense of being an old soul in a young body, but in being timeless. Growing up in the Nottingham projects may have given Bugg enough life experience to get away with penning “Seen It All,” but it’s his sonic aesthetic that give his tales truth. Rooted in Woody Guthrie/Johnny Cash folkabilly, soaked in both singer/songwriter confession and punk rock defiance, Bugg stands up to the 21st century with only his guitar and a rhythm section. Occasionally he uses his tools to sweep through widescreen, Oasis-friendly ballads like “Someplace” and “Slide,” but mostly he flips adversity the bird via catchy folk rockers like “Taste It,” “Trouble Town” and the rudely gesticulating U.K. hit “Two Fingers.” Jake Bugg may be a teenager, but a universal message and iconoclastic sound give his album the air of eternity.
DOWNLOAD: “Two Fingers,” “Seen It All,” “Slide”